TimeTweets, which allowed Dr. Wendell Howe to tweet to the folks back in the 27th century from the 19th was an experimental application. Unfortunately the Institute of Time Travel Enforcement Agency has found out those tweets were somehow bleeding into the 21st century! They had no choice but to try to convince everyone on Twitter this was all a hoax. The Enforcers were also forced to erase Wendell’s memory of Twitter and all the friends he made. He will miss not being able to Tweet on those lonely nights in the field...except he doesn’t remember so he can’t really miss it. He will however feel there is a void in his life.
Soon Wendell will disappear mysteriously on his trip to 1851 in a few months. After a long hunt, the Institute will announce they found bits of him in the past. The University of Cambridge and the whole town will have Wendell’s funeral in 2662, but don’t worry, he is very much alive. And you will just have to read my book to find out what happens to Wendell. (Okay, the free 14 chapter preview will tell you where he went, but not the whole story. For that you have to buy the book.)
My @Wendell_Howe Twitter site was an experiment in marketing. (Gawd, I feel cheap.) But writers have to market their own books nowadays, no matter how they publish. In reality, the aim of a writer is not to make everyone buy his book, since not everyone will like it, but to just let as many people as possible know it exists.
I was going to promote myself on Twitter back in 2009, but after a couple of months I discovered just how boring my life is. So I decided to Tweet as one of my characters. I set Wendell back four years before the events of the book. I figured I would have the book published in a year (naïve me.) Now I have to stop Wendell's Tweets, or I will have to rewrite the book with him Tweeting all the way through it. If I had been smart I would have set @Wendell_Howe back twenty years.
But then maybe that would not have been good, either. Wendell’s tweets were taking up a LOT of my time. I had to do a lot of detective work to find out if a certain building was where Wendell was in the past. What did it look like then? What sort of food would he be eating? How long would it take in 1894 to go from point A to point B by ship? Could he run into a certain person on that date or were they somewhere else? I would spend hours tracking someone down only to learn they were out of town that month. And I’m such a stickler for accuracy, it had to be right.
Not that it wasn’t fun. I’m one of those crazy people that actually likes doing research. I also learned more about Wendell. If you have been following @Wendell_Howe all this time you will recognize some of the things he mentions in the book as things he did while on Twitter. (Like seeing Central Park being built or the driving of the Last Spike on the Canadian Railway.)
@Wendell_Howe was cutting into time I could have been working on my novels. I have a first draft for my second book I need to rewrite, polish and get edited. I also need to finish the draft on my third book, but keep getting distracted by scenes in my head from the fourth book I have to write down. (Yes, there are voices in my head and it’s usually my characters having conversations.)
Also things have come up in my personal life that require more attention. No, thank God, my husband doesn’t want a divorce. My Mom is pushing 80, is having health problems and needs more of my help.
Though Wendell is gone, he is not forgotten. Archibald Cocker, the student Wendell was mentoring to become a temporal anthropologist, will have a Dr. Wendell Howe (@Wendell_Howe) memorial Tweet site. He will also be the webmaster of the Association of Temporal Anthropologists blog. On the blog will be articles by other temporal anthropologists out in the field, doing things Wendell could never do in eras he could never go to. Archie will also occasionally put up old articles written by Wendell before his disappearance. Since I won’t need to know where every building and person in town is, I can just concentrate on one event. I plan to do a post a week. And Archie will announce it on Twitter.
Keep in mind I love forgotten historic trivia, so I promise some surprises. I also have other Temporal Anthropologists I want you to meet. They are from my next book (as well as in my head.)
Thank you for following Wendell and keeping him company...yes, I do think of him in the third person (and so does my husband.) And I know you will all make Archie feel welcome.
Go to Scablander.com and download the 14 chapter preview of Walking a Fine Timeline. Try it on for size; see if you like it.
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Trade Paperback available for $13.99 at Amazon and AmazonUK.